Saturday, February 6, 2010

Brace Myself

Your humble reporter, The Squashist, is back on court.

Three weeks after my minor ankle operation I set foot on a court once again and felt the joy of a good hit. I practiced moving and hitting a bit solo and then had the good fortune of serendipitously bumping into a player who needed a game, so off we went.

In normal times the player would be a step or two below my level, but getting back into the game demands some caution. We played together and had a good match, which I eventually won. The sensation I had was that every other joint but my left ankle seemed to be creaky from disuse. We played again later in the week, where I won again, so I now feel I'm ready to play my regular A- level partners and have two such matches set up for next week. We'll see how that goes ...

To look at me as I get on court you have to wonder how I could possibly move. I wear Air-Cast braces on both ankles, which I heartily recommend. Although they take some getting used to, they don't appreciably hinder movement. (You can buy them here: Air-Stirrups. PS: Hey Air-Cast, sponsor a squash match, people, your product is perfect for squash. Wake up! Increase your sales!). I also wear patella-stabilizing straps on both knees just to be nice to these joints that have a lot of miles on them. My well-braced wardrobe looks like I've been patched together from some foreign war, although I tell myself I am just gearing up for battle.

I like to think I'm a smarter player after all these years, a thought which sustains me in a difficult match. Certainly, however, a crucial part of being an older athlete is adapting to the changing conditions of your body. So on go the braces....

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